The AARP Fraud Watch Network recently published a report revealing that older Americans who remain active investors and who tend to prefer unregulated investments could be more vulnerable to potential investment fraud. The Fraud Watch Network was established by the AARP back in 2013 with the purpose of increasing fraud awareness and preventing fraud.
The report published by the Fraud Watch Network made use of data gathered from 200 victims of investment fraud along with 800 interviews with general members of the investing public. One of the network’s lead researchers has stated that even people that have little experience with investing tend to invest their money on their own because technology makes it easier to do so. However, technology also makes it easier for scam artists to reach victims in a number of different ways and to trick them.
According to the report, the majority of fraud victims are 70 or older. These victims were also labeled as “risk takers,” due to the fact that they have stated they are willing to take chances on riskier investments as long as there is a chance of it paying off. Half of these fraud victims also believed that the most profitable returns come from unregulated investments. Additionally, many of these victims reported that they make at least five investments a year and have received targeted phone calls and emails from brokers.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, upwards of 17 percent of Americans aged 65 and older report being the victim of fraud. It’s estimated that billions of dollars have been lost every year due to fraud. One of the reasons older people are more vulnerable to fraud is potentially mild cognitive impairment, which has been linked as a precursor to dementia.
March is Consumer Protection Month, making it the perfect time to spread awareness on preventing fraud, especially when it comes to more elderly investors. Consumers of all ages are urged to deal only with regulated brokers and investments for this reason. For more financial news and advice, visit The Benefits Store today.